Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Staff outside in the cold.


diesel10
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All

 

How long would you expect your staff to spend outside? At the moment the longest mine spend outside is 1 hour 10 minutes. But there is 2 outside and they can come in to drink their tea, go to the loo, get what they need. This leaves 2 inside. After circle time the inside 2 go out.

 

Staff are complaining that it is too long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we are outside from 9.30 till 10.45 and then the next set of staff come out until 11.45. As long as i am wearing cold weather clothes, and good foot wear it does not bother me. I layer up with sports base layer, usual uniform, a good coat, hat, gloves and scarf and winter boots with cold weather socks. I just strip off when I come indoors lol x

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

just as well they don't work for me! outside for 3 hours...they are given hot drinks but they need to be suitably clothed. The children run around but the staff tend not to which makes them susceptible to cold. When we do our forest day we're out for 6 hours!

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being outside is part of the job. There are plenty of other jobs that require you to be outside in the cold. Can you imagine if everyone started complaining about it?

I've always found that being actively involved with the children tends to keep you warm anyway. It's standing around doing very little that lets you get cold.

I would have very little sympathy for this. I think my words would be dress warmly and keep active, then you'll be fine.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard of these Norway settings mentioned in the past and i always say this. They are used to the weather in Norway with them living in those conditions all their life. There bodies are "adapted" to the colder climates.

 

After saying that.. i do agree children should be able to go outside and enjoy it. Children and staff can wear more clothing to keep warm and it usually does no harm. Children do run around and keep warm that's true, and staff could do the same, like mentioned or jump around with the children and keep active, after all that is one of the idea's of being outdoors right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought all staff waterproof reversible coats,fleece inside..£37 with logo etc.on....now 3 of my 6 staff prefer their 'fashion' coats....and stand,hoods up freezing and complaining...we are outside 10.30-11.30,when the coldest staff member goes in to do lunches....staff meeting tomorrow night...but do not like to upset them...the term so far has been hard going,children inattentive,lots of new 2 year olds,being 2 year olds....seems a small matter in the larger scheme of things....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly, it is difficult to tell grown women to dress for the weather, but I see the whole area (inside and outside) as part of the learning environment. Can't say I did that well at the staff meeting. I think I agreed to deciding on the day, which normally mean it's me outside! Hoping it's more cold weather and less rain.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing the staff that are complaining are the same ones who seem to go quiet when it's summer!!

 

Not that we have amazing summers but I would have to be a little bit evil and make those staff stay in when it is nice weather hee hee ::1a

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have one person outside, and rotate every 15-20 mins. So probably go out two or three times a day but because it's for short bursts it has meant the nesh staff moan less!

But how do you get stuck into any activities with the chihldren if you are always off and a new person comes out?!

 

In my nursery class you were responsible for the outside learning for a week!! Morning AND afternoon. We had 3 people and 39 children each session. we wrapped up warm and were all committed to active learning well before it was part of the stat framework!!

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how do you get stuck into any activities with the chihldren if you are always off and a new person comes out?!

 

In my nursery class you were responsible for the outside learning for a week!! Morning AND afternoon. We had 3 people and 39 children each session. we wrapped up warm and were all committed to active learning well before it was part of the stat framework!!

Ahh those were the days Catma! You just can't get the staff these days! : ). Think we could all do with some pro-active outside training!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I told my daughter's horse riding teacher about this today. She thought it was hilarious and that the staff concerned need to be told to get a grip.

Her other comment was that, if they were active and joining in with the children like they are supposed to be doing, they wouldn't get any colder than the children do.

 

It is a requirement of settings that children have access to outside play and I don't think it's acceptable for staff to be less engaged in any one area of the setting than others. If play isn't effectively supported and extended by adults in outside areas, those children for whom learning is more effective outside will lose out.

Does it need to be made clearer at interview stage and perhaps performance reviews that staff are expected to perform their role effectively and for as long as necessary outside as well as inside? I would suggest that anyone who isn't prepared to engage with children effectively and enthusiastically in all areas of the setting should consider whether working in an early years setting is right for them.

 

I would hate parents to be aware that staff feel that being outside, supporting their children where they are happiest and most engaged was seen as such a chore.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At changeover time we would have a handover chat about what is going on outside and so they can take the learning on and may add a different slant on the experience. It makes for much happier staff as everyone works together, instead of it being me outside the whole time! As we are a primary school most of the TAs weren't employed to work in FS2 and so it comes as a shock at how much time they have to spend outside. Many of the TAs actually refuse to work in there...claiming bad backs...so the ones I've got I want to keep happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

most of the TAs weren't employed to work in FS2 and so it comes as a shock at how much time they have to spend outside.

I find this statement really sad.....outdoor learning should go throughout the school at all times of year. Everyone without exception should tbe happy to be outside and a bad back is no excuse (I should know!)

...I realise this has to come from the SMT though

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

A recent staff meeting with the chair present hasn't helped the matter by giving the staff the idea that the garden rota should be scrapped and going outside is an option. I'm still holding onto the set days for setting up and outside duty but staff are reluctant to go out, using anything to delay.

 

I feel that they wear unsuitable clothes ie normal clothes, I wear thermals and wool jumpers, boots and a technical coat. Staff work three days a week and probably don't want to invest their wages in work clothes. There is no way that they would wear logo work coats.

 

Can you see any downfall in me suggesting to the committee that staff are given a cold weather payment and sign to say they will buy suitable clothing. Ie £300 (we do have the money). And arrange an inset outdoor play course / forest school to go over again the benefits of outdoor play and learning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooh - define suitable clothing?? I think that could lead to more 'issues'. I think if we had the money I would be inclined to decide, as a group, the items of clothing needed to spend time outside in all weather's. Perhaps use an outdoor clothing website and then give everyone an order form and manager or committee order items. Then take this opportunity to review staff policies, code of conduct etc and put in place clear procedures for staffing in outdoor areas in all weather's.

 

I have also got the same problems so you are not alone.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading this thread makes me realise how lucky I am with my staff team! Everyone is more than happy to go outside and all understand the importance of outdoor play. I think I have just always banged on about it so much that it is an accepted part of the job. I have visited other settings where staff stand round with their hands in their pockets, grumbling to each other about the cold and not engaging with children and thought to myself, what a waste of time and opportunity!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a rota, staff are out for around 40

Mins then swap. Staff used to wear there own coats when I started, but I got the committee to buy fleece lined waterproof coats, we bought enough for one each but as the team doubled in numbers we all just pick one up so didn't buy extra as we usually only have 2 max staff out at any one time. I feel very lucky my team might winge it's cold but never refuse, it's part of the job so I'd be unhappy if they did so glad I've not come across this (yet!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is no way that they would wear logo work coats.

 

 

 

 

I really think a big adjustment in attitude is called for here.

 

The staff are there to carry out a role, i.e. caring for and supporting the play of the children in the setting. That is what's important, not wearing the right brand of coat or staying in the warm.

 

If you have the money, could you arrange some away-days en masse at a forest school or outdoor activity centre so that everyone becomes more accustomed to learning outside and the staff are fed some new ideas and enthusiasm? Provide new coats for the occasion or give them an allowance to buy a new coat with the proviso that they ensure it is warm enough to enable them to feel comfortable being outside for whole days.

 

The outdoors is a really important learning environment for some children. It a shame to think that they are getting less from the adults out there simply because looking fashionable is seen as more important than supporting their learning.

Ofsted do look closely at the quality for learning happening in the outdoors. Ask the staff how they would demonstrate this if an Ofsted inspector were watching them and then remind them that this should be how they interact with the children all of the time, not just when they know they are being inspected.

Another thought - could you devote a staff meeting to planning how to improve the quality of learning happening in the outdoor areas? Encourage them to reflect on how they, personally, contribute to it and whether it could change for the better.

Edited by Upsy Daisy
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

All our staff have to go outside with the children except member of staff doing snack! they are usually out for around an hour ish..both morning and afternoon sometimes longer, depending on the children. Its the job, it comes with the territory, you either do the whole job or don't do it at all.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All our staff have to go outside with the children except member of staff doing snack! they are usually out for around an hour ish..both morning and afternoon sometimes longer, depending on the children. Its the job, it comes with the territory, you either do the whole job or don't do it at all.

And 'Amen' to that ladybirds 1991!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked in a mixed reception/year 1 class for 3 years. I was lucky i suppose as i was passionate about the outdoor curriculum and really enjoyed getting outside. The lady who worked on my days off did not like going outside one bit! She was lucky as when i left the school had a huge canopy installed so when it rained she could hide under it! Like others have mentioned i used to wrap up really warm and wear warm footwear, running around and joining in helps too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite simply it's part of the job and staff should dress accordingly. I work as an MSA and quite a few of them don't like being outside in the cold but it really doesn't bother me, there's no such thing as bad weather it's bad clothing!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)